Amir Nave | Israel

To Be Me, 2009

Acrylic, supercryl and spray on canvas
76 / 138 cm

Courtesy of The Beno Kalev collection

Photo: Courtesy of Karin Bar

When I left for this journey I decided not to talk with Jewish or Arab politicians or officials. Their positions are well known to the point of weariness. I wanted to talk to the people who are themselves the real players in the drama, these who pay first the price of their actions and failures, courage, cowardliness, corruption, nobility- I quickly understood that we all pay the price, but not all of us know it.

We lived for 20 years in a false and artificial situation, based on illusions, on teetering center of gravity between hate and fear, in a desert void of emotion and conciseness, and the passing time turns slowly into a separate, forbidding entity hanging above us like a suffocating layer of yellow dust. From this point of view, nothing matches the occupation as a great personal challenge. As a personal crossroads demanding action and thought. Sometime you can gain in this way – for a split secondreal mountain air.

Albert Camus said that this passage from speech to moral action has a name. “To become human”. During the last weeks, and seeing what I saw, I wondered more than once how many times during the last twenty years I had been worthy of being called human, and how many people among the millions participating in this drama are worthy of it.

The Yellow Wind, David Grossman, Pan Books in association with Jonathan Cape, translated to Hebrew by Haim Watsman.